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The anatomy of a headline: Some stories on Federal Way tragedy imply it’s part of Seattle

Last night’s deadly rampage in Federal Way – which resulted in the deaths of five individuals at the Pinewood Village apartments complex just off Pacific Highway South – has focused national and international attention on our region.

Although the tragedy occurred in Federal Way and authorities there are handling the investigation, several national and international media outlets are incorrectly characterizing the event as a “Seattle shooting” or a shooting in Seattle, implying that it happened in our region’s biggest city. In fact, the Federal Way city limits are some twenty miles south of the heart of Seattle, and driving from one city hall to another takes twenty-five minutes… in good traffic.

A quick check of stories pertaining to the tragedy on Bing News revealed some headlines that are misleading and could have been better written.

Let’s compare a few:

Our own local media, of course, don’t need to say “Seattle area”. We here in Washington know where Federal Way is.

There are a lot of details about this tragedy we still don’t know. We do know that the man killed by police last night – who is suspected of killing the others – had a license to carry a concealed weapon. And he was abusive: Law enforcement knew this guy, because he’d been violent before. Unfortunately, he was armed last night, and he did terrible damage with his weapons.

We at NPI extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those killed in this senseless act of violence. Another mass shooting has resulted in more death and destruction. We’re left to wonder: When is enough enough? When are we going to put human rights ahead of “gun rights”?

One Comment

  1. Posted April 22nd, 2013 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    It’s similar to events in Watertown MA being characterized as being in Boston.